The Band Perry Talk New Music
The Band Perry experienced numerous firsts in 2010; releasing their self-titled debut album (which made The Boot's Top Country Albums of 2010 countdown), reaching the top spot on the charts with their second single 'If I Die Young,' and then have the RIAA certify the song platinum, for sales exceeding one million units. Oh, and then there's those pesky Grammy and CMA nominations. After a year such as this, you'd think the sibling trio would be ready for a little rest but, no, they're already hard at work on their sophomore release.
"The next album has already taken on a life of it's own and we already have a feeling for what it's going to be like," Reid Perry tells The Boot. "We're going to block out some time early next year and record it all at one time," brother Neil chimes in. "We're going have our collection of songs, have the producer and just go knock it out," sister Kimberly adds.
The real question is what those new songs will be. "We've got a couple songs that we play live that will probably be on the next album," Neil says.
"We love throwing in new songs live because you can get that immediate reaction from the fans and see what they're connecting with already," Kimberly explains. "It's almost like a little science experience every night. It's funny because before the album came out we'd already been playing this song, 'Sugar, Sugar,' -- it will likely be on the second album. When the project came out, we started seeing all this stuff on Facebook and Twitter, and fans were like, 'Why is 'Sugar, Sugar' not on the album?' Because we wrote it too late! But it's cool to know what the fans want to hear next."
But fans aren't the only ones who get a say on whether or not new songs work. "We get everyone's opinion on it: producers, managers, label people, parents," Neil says. "But we do like to play it live to see how it works. It is different hearing it on a demo."
For the group, the decision process is a slow one. "We live with our songs a long time before we record them because we do go through the live process of arranging them," Kimberly elaborates. "The three of us arrange as we write, because Neil's on mandolin, Reid's on bass and I'm on acoustic. It's like we write with the arrangements innately built into the songs. We live with them for a long time, almost completed."
After that much time, do they ever get sick of a song? "Several of the songs like 'Miss You Being Gone' and 'Postcard From Paris' almost didn't make the album, because we played them so much that we put them aside before we recorded," Reid admits. "As we were doing our last song meetings for the album, we listened to them again and went, 'Those do need to be on the album.' I think some times you need to back away from some songs to appreciate them again."
Kimberly has a theory as to why this happens, though. "We always gravitate to the new stuff we're writing," she says. "The new ones are always the best," Reid agrees with a laugh.
Being siblings there's bound to be arguments, especially about something as close to the vest as songs. "We've never disagreed on any song we've ever recorded," Kimberly assures.
However, the trio is very close to their parents, who may not have to intervene, but are always a part of the operation. "They're involved from pretty much the beginning, after we get an idea," Reid says.
"Actually, it depends," Kimberly interjects. "If we're really excited about it then we can't not play it. They'll be walking by and we'll be rehearsing and we'll ask them to lend an ear."
"And they'll give us they're opinions," Neil adds. "If they like it, they'll tell us. If they think we can get a better idea, they'll also tell us, which is helpful."
The group's first album had three different producers, Paul Worley (Dixie Chicks, Big & Rich), Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift) and Matt Serletic (Matchbox Twenty). "Paul and Nathan divided the responsibilities for most of the album, then Matt came in at the 11th our and recorded our last track," Kimberly explains.
"We recorded the whole record over a year-and-a-half," Reid elaborates. "We did the first set with Paul Worley pre-record label, just so we could walk in and show them who we are. Then we went on the radio tour and got back into the studio with Nathan Chapman. Three weeks before the record release we got in with Matt Serletic. It was a long process."
'Walk Me Down the Middle' was that last song the siblings rushed to get on the album. "Matt was available and we really wanted to work with him and we just got it done," says Kimberly about the way fate contributed to the song being on the album.
Don't expect three producers to work on the new project, though. "We want to find one guy that we just work well with and dig into the studio with," Kimberly assures. "A lot of this first project was so much experimentation and every experience was different, yet equally wonderful, but we'd like to find one guy."
Just because they're focused on new music doesn't mean they've abandoned their current album, though. The next single to be released to radio will be 'You Lie,' which hits the airwaves in January.
The Band Perry is taking a break from touring until New Years Eve, when they take the stage in Pensacola, Fla. They also have a few shows lined up for the New Year, the first January 6 in Tulsa, Okla. Get details here.
Also, tune into the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards February 13 at 8:00 PM ET/PT on CBS to see if the group takes home the Best Country Song trophy for 'If I Die Young.'
Watch the Band Perry Sing 'If I Die Young' Live